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Minister Smith announces details of the 2010 Single Payment Scheme National Reserve

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, TD, today announced details of the two categories under which farmers will be entitled to apply for an allocation of Single Payment entitlements from the 2010 National Reserve. The Minister said he has made his decision following consultation with the Single Payment Advisory Committee comprising representative of the farming organisations, Teagasc and officials from his Department.

Farmers who inherit land

Farmers who inherit, or acquire free of charge by deed of transfer from an Early Retirement Scheme (ERS) participant farmer who retired or died before 16th May 2005, a holding that was leased out to a third party during the 2000 - 2002 reference period.  Income criteria must also be fulfilled.  (Category A on the application form).

New Entrants to farming

Farmers who commenced farming after 15 May 2008, who have not pursued any agricultural activity at their own risk for a period of five years prior to this commencement date and who fulfil certain income and educational criteria.  In addition an applicant may only qualify once under the New Entrant category of the National Reserve i.e. an applicant who previously qualified under New Entrant category of the 2008 or 2009 National Reserve may not qualify again in 2010 (Category B on the application form).

Conditions applicable to both Categories (A and B)

  • A cap of €5,000 will be applied to allocations to eligible applicants;
  • Where the €5,000 cap is applied, the allocation will be divided by the DED average value of entitlements and allocated on an equivalent number of hectares;
  • Any off-farm income cannot exceed €30,000 and the total income (farm and off-farm) cannot exceed €40,000.

The Minister said that changes to the EU Regulations governing the National Reserve provide that entitlements allocated must be in accordance with objective criteria and in such a way as to ensure equal treatment between farmers and to avoid market and competition distortions. The value of entitlements allocated to successful applicants will be the average value of entitlements in the District Electoral Division (DED) associated with the applicant's herd number. The total allocation will represent the sum of the eligible hectares declared multiplied by the DED average value of entitlements or €5,000 whichever is the lesser.  Where the cap of €5,000 is applied, it will be divided by the DED average value of entitlements and allocated on the resulting number of eligible hectares.  In other words it will not be spread over all of the eligible hectares declared by the applicant but will give the applicant a lesser number of entitlements at a higher value per entitlement.  An applicant may only benefit under either Category A or B whichever is the most financially beneficial.

Where the sum of allocations to eligible applicants exceeds the amount available in the 2010 National Reserve, an appropriate linear reduction will have to be applied to all allocations.

Applications forms for the 2010 National Reserve are now available on the Department's website, from Department offices and from Teagasc offices.  The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 17th May 2010 .

Date Released: 31 March 2010